2013 NFL Mock Draft: Best Possible Selections for Round 1 Teams
Workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine are now complete. While some players will definitely feel the impact on their draft stock in the coming weeks, there were no major changes to the point where any certain player should take a gigantic jump or endure a huge slide.
The next stop will be Pro Days, which serve as a prospect's last chance to make a statement on a wide scale. With the draft now less than two months away, players are running out of time to convince teams they are the right choice in Round 1.
Let's take a look at where the opening round stands right now. Although there's still time for changes as teams begin to key in on a couple players, most prospects are beginning to settle into a zone of where they will fall come the end of April.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
The story remains the same for Kansas City. It would love to find a franchise quarterback to select with the top pick, but it just doesn't seem like that's going to happen. Joeckel is the other option.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
Jacksonville has a multitude of needs to fill before it gets back into playoff contention. The Jaguars should start by rebuilding their lackluster defensive line with a high-upside player like Mingo.
What should the Raiders address in Round 1?
3. Oakland Raiders: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Even though the Raiders' offense continues to disappoint, finding a way to get more pressure on the quarterback is more important than another skill position player. Werner will make that happen.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Now that the Eagles seemingly have the quarterback position figured out for another season, they can focus on getting somebody like Fisher to protect whoever ends up under center in Week 1.
5. Detroit Lions: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
It's clear the Lions have enough offensive firepower to make a run at the playoffs. The defense isn't anywhere near that level, however. Adding Milliner would be a step in the right direction.
6. Cleveland Browns: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Ansah has been making a charge up draft boards for awhile now as teams started to get a better look at his natural ability. Cleveland lacks a premier edge rusher and could take a chance on the hype.
7. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
The Cardinals have tried several different options under center in recent seasons and none of them worked. They should take a chance on Barkley, who was once viewed as an elite prospect.
8. Buffalo Bills: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Buffalo has no depth at the receiver position beyond Stevie Johnson, who's a possession target. Patterson would bring more game-breaking ability to the Bills' struggling passing game.
9. New York Jets: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Mark Sanchez continues to get chances and hasn't capitalized on them. Sooner or later the Jets have to take a chance on another quarterback, and Smith provides solid value at this point.
10. Tennessee Titans: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
A major reason for Tennessee's defensive struggles last season was an inability to contain the running game. Lotulelei is the type of player who can step right in and help fix that problem.
11. San Diego Chargers: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Philip Rivers was sacked 49 times last season. That equates to more than three times per game and over 300 lost offensive yards for the Chargers. It doesn't take into account all the other times he was under duress and forced into incompletions and turnovers.
In other words, the Chargers must address their offensive line before next season. Rivers' numbers have declined over the past two seasons and taking all those hits have definitely played a role. Not only physically, but probably mentally as well.
Johnson has been one of the most impressive players during the draft process. His combination of size and athleticism make him a prototypical NFL tackle. He's capable of stepping right into the fire and limiting the hits on Rivers.
12. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Wide receiver would be another option for the Dolphins with this pick, but filling that void through free agency seems like the easier route. Rhodes would provide a major boost to the secondary.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Although the Bucs would like to see Milliner or Rhodes fall into their lap, the cornerback position is such a serious need that they must address it immediately. Trufant is ready to play right away.
14. Carolina Panthers: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Floyd is an interesting prospect. Based on potential and pure talent, he could be one of the top picks in the draft. But he didn't always live up to the hype in college and that will worry teams.
15. New Orleans Saints: Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Drew Brees and the Saints offense are going to score a lot of points. Now the team needs to find a way to stop opponents for scoring even more. Jordan can help bolster an ineffective pass rush.
16. St. Louis Rams: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Sam Bradford was sacked 35 times last season and was under constant pressure in the pocket. Warmack presents tremendous value at this point and it's hard to see the Rams passing on him if he's there.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
While Moore received some top-five consideration early in the draft process, it now seems more likely that he'll settle a little deeper in the round. The Steelers need a youth infusion on defense.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The Cowboys could go with a run-stopper to help the defense, but none provide as much value as Cooper does at this point. Offensive line is another area of need, so he should be the pick.
Where will Jones get drafted?
19. New York Giants: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
It's hard to get a good read on where Jones will land due to concerns about his ability to stay healthy. If he falls to the Giants, it would be hard for a team looking to revitalize its defense to pass.
20. Chicago Bears: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Jay Cutler has been sacked 148 times in four seasons with the Bears. The team needs to bring in a tackle capable of providing him far more protection, which will give him more time to work in the pocket.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
The Bengals were overly reliant on Geno Atkins and Michael Johnson to get pressure on the quarterback last season. They need to add more depth to the defensive line to ensure the defense doesn't fall off if either of those players take a step back next season.
Okafor is an intriguing option, especially this deep in the round. He's still searching for the consistency necessary to become an elite rusher, but there were times, including during Texas' bowl win, when he was unstoppable.
If he can come in and show off the potential he illustrated in college, Cincinnati would have one of the most dominant defensive lines in the league. It's the type of pick that could make the Bengals a serious threat in the AFC.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WSH): Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
Another value pick for the Rams. Vaccaro could go in the teens, but would be a good fit with the Rams and would allow the team to leave the first round extremely happy with two solid players.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Minnesota should address the wide receiver position regardless of what happens with Percy Harvin. At this point, Allen is the best one on the board and would help take some pressure off Adrian Peterson.
What level of the Colts' D is the biggest issue?
24. Indianapolis Colts: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Colts run defense has been a mess since Peyton Manning's early days with the team. The Andrew Luck era is now underway, but the story remains the same. They can't pass on Richardson.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Major strides made on offense last season will allow Seattle to target a defensive upgrade with its first pick in 2013. Jones would fill a need at defensive end and has flashed solid upside.
26. Green Bay Packers: Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
Since the Packers only have minor needs on offense, their best option is taking the best defensive player on the board to continue the progress on that side of the ball. Ogletree fits the bill.
27. Houston Texans: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Sooner or later the Texans are going to realize Andre Johnson needs help to take the offense to the next level. An explosive playmaker like Austin would make the perfect alternative in the passing game.
28. Denver Broncos: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
It's important to remember the Broncos were one miracle play away from beating the eventual champion Baltimore Ravens. They are close, and Hankins will keep them moving in the right direction.
29. New England Patriots: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
Another team with a star quarterback that should feel confident in its offense. The Patriots could go with a cornerback here, but Williams provides more value and would help the defensive line.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
This pick is completely dependent on the final decision made by Tony Gonzalez. If he decides to return for another season, the Falcons' mindset will change and they should go defense here. If he doesn't, they must replace him right away.
You might think Atlanta's offense could survive without a reliable option at tight end since it features the dynamic duo of Roddy White and Julio Jones. But Gonzalez plays a crucial role, especially in the red zone. Without him, they wouldn't operate with the same efficiency.
Ertz is coming off a strong junior season at Stanford where he reeled in 69 catches for nearly 900 yards and six touchdowns. He has the size to step right into the role Gonzalez played and have success. He certainly isn't near the same level yet, but he can keep the offense moving.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The San Francisco secondary had some flaws exposed during their playoff run. Banks had a strong collegiate career and should bring some much-needed depth to the 49ers defensive backfield.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Baltimore still appears to be the best fit for Te'o, regardless of John Harbaugh's reaction to his 40-yard dash. He's more of a football player than a pure athlete and deserves a spot in the opening round.
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